GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz Mocks Top Trump Advisor Kellyanne Conway’s Out of Touch Views on Marijuana
“OK Boomer, That’s a Very Boomer Approach to Marijuana”
In November 2019, 25-year-old Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand politician, Chlöe Swarbrick, was giving an impassioned speech on climate change when she was interrupted by older MP, Todd Muller. She brushed it off with an off-the-cuff reaction that instantly became a popular meme with millennials around the world: “OK, Boomer.”
That now-famous generational clap-back has just been applied to the debates around federally legalized cannabis in the U.S.
This past April, in an interview with CNN, Kellyanne Conway — one of President Trump’s top advisors — was asked about the current administration’s position on several issues, including the opioid crisis and the potential role marijuana therein. It was her stance on the potency and effects of modern-day cannabis products that caught the attention of legalization advocates — including those in her own party.
“We’re very concerned about the effect (of marijuana) on the brain, among young people,” said Conway in the CNN interview. “For all the folks who talk about the benefits and the legality of marijuana, there are many health professionals and employers increasingly concerned that this is not your grandfather or your father’s marijuana. The TCH [sic] components are much stronger. We just can’t say it’s all good for all people at this moment.”
“Very Boomer Approach to Marijuana”
Just a few days ago, when Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz was asked by Michael Smerconish on CNN about Conway’s controversial cannabis comments, he wasted no time busting out the #OKboomer clap-back.
“OK boomer. That’s a very boomer approach to marijuana, if for no other reason than it’s actually THC, not TCH,” said Gaetz. “And I think that her reflection shows a real ignorance to the science demonstrating that in states where there are marijuana programs you see a reduction in Schedule I drug recommendations. You also see a reduction in the types of overdoses that are crippling our country and hollowing out America. If we have a lower acuity anti-pain alternative to heroin and opioids, I think that you’ll see the country do a lot better.”
When questioned by Smerconish about whether he saw cannabis legalization as a “conservative issue, individual liberty, and states’ rights, and so forth,” Gaetz again showed no hesitation in challenging the old-school views of the Republican party.
“Federal prohibition against marijuana has not worked,” responded Gaetz. “It has impaired research and it has stopped our states from being able to unlock cures. I was curious when one of my Republican colleagues said the federal government was rushing into marijuana reform, yet we have 47 states who have some version of a marijuana program, and right now federal policy functions as a wet blanket over the type of innovation and investment that could allow marijuana to improve peoples’ lives around the country.”
Video source: CNN YouTube
A Generational — Not Partisan — Issue
Much like with the issue of climate change that started the ‘OK Boomer’ meme in the first place, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the disagreement over cannabis legalization is not about Right vs. Left or Republican vs. Democrat, but instead speaks to a generational divide.
As a conservative politician who is sometimes referred to as a ‘Trump whisperer’, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz’s pro-legalization stance illustrates this emerging generational discord perfectly.
“This is not an issue that young people are fighting about,” explains Gaetz. “This is largely generational more than it is partisan because I think more and more young people in the country are saying ‘look, let’s just go ahead and let people live better lives with a more natural alternative that has a lower propensity for addiction.”
Smerconish closed the interview by asking Gaetz if he has any reason to believe he can win President Trump’s support on the federally legalized cannabis issue.
“President Trump is no fan of marijuana,” responded Gaetz. “But I think that he made commitments about medical marijuana in his 2016 campaign that we still need to fulfill. Fortunately, Attorney General Barr is in the rule-making process now, so we can accelerate approvals for research. That is the key. If we can get more research into the types of ailments where marijuana can be helpful, I think that that will accelerate the pressure on Congress to join the country and join the 47 states that are working for our constituents.”
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